Eco-Friendly Pet Parents

May 30, 2023
By: Adriana Valle

We believe in caring for our planet the way it cares for us. Every little action makes a difference, especially considering the significant impact pets have on our carbon footprint. For this reason, today we’re sharing our top 10 Tips For Eco-Friendly Pet Parents.

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Did you know that every time you make a purchase at the store raises your carbon footprint? When you take an item off the shelves, another comes in after it. Goods have to be produced, shipped, restocked, and sold, perpetuating consumerism and, oftentimes, waste. Instead of going out to get new household goods, clothing, etc., give your items a new life by cleaning them, polishing them, or giving them a good coat of paint.


If reusing isn’t an option, check out a local thrift store and antique shop in the CT Shoreline. Thrift shopping can be very fun and you’d be surprised how many high-quality pet items you might find.

Some thrift and antique shops in the Shoreline area include The Estuary, Fantasia Consignments, and HTS in Old Saybrook, When thrifting pet items, opt for food-grade stainless steel, washable fabrics, and non-porous food surfaces to prevent cross-contamination of illnesses and avoid harmful chemicals. Focus on finding unused pet jackets and raincoats that can be washed, crates that are in good condition, etc.


shoreline pet products

When purchasing something brand new is the only option, consider eco-friendly products. Nowadays, there are plenty of eco-friendly household, food, and toiletry products. For pets, opt for ocean-safe shampoos, biodegradable kitty litter, and avoid plastic.

While you’re at it, choose legitimately biodegradable poop bags like Greenline Pet Supply‘s bags over standard poop bags. Also, avoid reusing plastic grocery bags. Grocery bags should be avoided. Take along a reusable tote instead. And, if you have grocery bags at home, take them back to a grocery store, Walmart, or Target for recycling.


Did you buy that fancy cat bed only to find that your cat is happier in the box it came in? This is a common occurrence with pets (and kids!) Instead of impulse-buying or splurging on new pet accessories, look around your home and see what could help entertain your pet or keep them comfortable that does not require a trip to the store.

By reducing the number of new items you bring into your home, you save money, prevent clutter, and reduce your impact on the environment.


Upcycling is a great way to take discards and trash and make something fabulous. One common pet item that is often upcycled is pet food bags. Unfortunately, pet food bags are not recyclable, but there are many ways to upcycle them. Wash them up and use them to store paint brushes and tools, to collect landscaping debris, or cut them up and create art with them.

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Donate things you and your pets are not using. Rescue organizations are often in need of unused or almost new toys, blankets, bowls, and beds. Anything that can be washed and used with rescue dogs and cats is usually welcome. Did you end up with the wrong food from an order or extra food when your pet had a diet change? They’ll often take that too but most want it to be closed to ensure their pets’ safety.


shoreline dogs

If you’re not familiar with Buy Nothing Groups, it’s time to discover these awesome communities of gift-givers and receivers. Buy Nothing groups are usually on Facebook. They are also area-specific. The goal is to create a community within a neighborhood that helps neighbors connect when they have something they are no longer using or need something someone else may have. Members post a gift for someone that needs it or ask for a gift if they want to avoid a trip to the store. Following are two of our local Buy Nothing Groups to join. Keep in mind, they will ask your address to confirm your location before accepting you as a member. Once accepted, you can post your goods or ask for gifts as desired.

Buy Nothing Groups are a great place to find baby gates, play pens, pet bowls and leashes, etc.

Old Saybrook Buy Nothing Group

Clinton Area Buy Nothing Group

Didn’t see your local Buy Nothing Group? Learn more about locating and starting Buy Nothing Groups here.


Did you know pet waste can be a hazardous pollutant when in a landfill? Instead of tossing it in the trash, consider composting your pet’s waste. There are many ways your pet’s waste compost can be highly useful, just DO NOT use it for plants or produce meant for human consumption. Look for a second-hand composter to save money.


shoreline cats

By not spaying or neutering your pets, you contribute to the already millions of stray pets and litters that roam around or wind up in shelters. Sadly, many of these pets are euthanized because space and money is short at shelters and rescues around the country.

Spaying and neutering reduced the number of homeless animals, conserves important resources, and protects wildlife. Some stray and feral communities of animals can be harmful to other species therefore controlling community cats and other animals is the best thing for our local ecosystems.

#10: ADOPT

One of the best ways to be an eco-friendly pet owner is to adopt. There are millions of homeless pets in shelters who need a home, and those who are not adopted are often euthanized. Imagine the positive environmental impact of seeing homeless pets adopted. Instead of defaulting to a burebred puppy from a breeder, instead consider finding an adoptable pet from your desired breed by contacting a breed-specific rescue.

shoreline happy paws logo 2023

The Lower River Valley & Shoreline area is beautiful. We are very lucky to live in a place where the air is cleaner than most places on Earth. We have beautiful trails and beaches to explore with our pets. But, we won’t always be this lucky if we don’t care for our local and global environment. Any small step we take can make a difference. We hope you find some sustainable ideas that you can implement in your home.

To learn more about Shoreline Happy Paw’s commitment to sustainability while providing services, please contact us by phone at 860-964-0464 or email at

We are proud to serve the CT Shoreline and River Valley area of Connecticut. We limit our service area to ensure quality service and ample availability for our valued customers. We are based in Old Saybrook and serve the following towns:

  • Old Saybrook
  • Essex, Ivoryton & Centerbrook
  • Deep River
  • Chester
  • Westbrook
  • Clinton
  • Old Lyme
  • East Lyme
  • Niantic

Certain Parts and Certain Service Hours in:

  • Lyme and Madison


  • Waterford, New London, Groton

Certain Parts and Certain Service Hours in:

  • Uncasville, Gales Ferry, Mystic, Noank 

We look forward to hearing from you and caring for your pets.

By Adriana Valle

Adriana is the owner and Chief Pet-Loving Officer at Shoreline Happy Paws. She has been a Professional Pet Sitter for over 10 years.

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